Co-owned by Marc Bortz (the man behind many Chicago bars including Jet Vodka Lounge, Tokyo 21 and Sangria) and John Monopoly (C.E.O. of Kanye West's G.O.O.D. music label), Boutique aims to fill Chicago's upscale hip-hop club void with sleek interiors and VIP service. Watching MTV and BET won't get you any closer to your dreams of partying like your favorite hip-hop star, but going to Boutique just might.
Located in the former home of Dragon Room, this tri-level club features two levels of dark wood, earth tones, and natural elements throughout the space like large stone columns and a bamboo wall modestly shielding the bathroom. The third floor is designed for Boutique's go-go dancers (or Chicago's version of hip-hop video vixens) with pink curtains, purple tile walls and a few poles where girls can "do their thing."
If Boutique sounds like heaven, apply for a membership now. Cardholders will receive discounted covers, and the club may eventually become members only. Until then, expect to pay more as the night progresses so that by midnight, cover is $20 for the ladies and $30 for guys. Fortunately the club stays open into the wee hours, so you get your money's worth in drinking and dancing. The crowd starts piling in around midnight, when the music takes a turn for the better, with hip-hop, pop and dancehall replacing the slow '90s R&B played earlier in the evening.
As if it wasn't evident by the name or the membership questionnaire, Boutique has a strict dress code. Even members of the Bears and Bulls, who are rumored to frequent the club post-game, have to show up dressed accordingly. So, if you're looking to live out your champagne wishes and hip-hop dreams, leave the jerseys and street-wear at home. Even the hottest Nikes in the Midwest won't make it past these bouncers.
Centerstage Reviewer: Maya Henderson